What is Story of Seasons?
Story of Seasons is a light farming/"world building" game in which you grow crops, raise animals and make friends with the local townspeople. Probably best described as a game like Animal Crossing or the Sims, with bright colours, an emphasis on (in-game) social interactions, and a little bit more farming, it's mostly a single player game, although there is the option of connecting to the internet to visit other people's farms.
How do you play Story of Seasons?
The aim of the game is to make items out of both the crops you grow, and the animal produce you collect, before selling it on at the market. The more you sell, the more traders will be attracted to your town, bringing with them tourists. Tend to your fields well enough, and produce fancy enough goods, and people will start visiting from all over the land, making the town prosperous once again, earning the gratitude of the townspeople in the process.
However, even if you're all aiming for the same goal, it's not as though Story of Seasons is without competition. You'll be competing against other (computer controlled) farmers for the use of the limited land available by seeing who can earn the most money or grow the most crops. You'll also compete in festivals, for example the Cooking Exhibition, in which you cook a dish using the best quality ingredients you have, and try to beat the other townsfolk.
In your down time, you'll wile away the hours chatting to the local villagers, discovering a little bit more about what makes them tick - and perhaps even finding love, and starting a family!
How easy is Story of Seasons to pick up and play?
In terms of accessibility, Story of Seasons is a very slow paced game. While you have to grow crops, and as such, will have to tend to and water your fields, it's worth noting that there's no "real time" clock here - time in the game only passes when you're playing it, so there's no need to get up early to water your plants, or brush your sheep.
For the youngest of players, a strong reading ability is a must. Characters give you quests, and so you'll need to be able to read what they want. You also need to stay in touch with the townspeople in the game in order to build up relationships with them, and stay in the loop with what's going on, so there's plenty of reading to be done.
- "Hmm? Well, you're a new face. ...Oh, you must be the farmer in training who moved here just recently!"
In terms of mature content, Story of Seasons is entirely family friendly. There's no bad language, no sex, and no violence. There are some references to alcohol, as you can build a wine shed and turn fruit into wine, but you don't become drunk from drinking it. At one point a character dies due to old age, and your character goes to see them one last time before they go. They leave their farmland to you and they are buried at the foot of the farm, marked by a gravestone.
With the option of playing as either a boy or a girl, certain characters of the opposite sex will start a relationship with your character if you talk to them often enough and give them gifts. There is an option to get married and have children, but there is no mention of sex. Either your character, or your wife will go to the hospital one day due to feeling ill, and you will be informed that they are going to have a baby, so it's all very above board. You also don't have to send your animals off for slaughter, as you only get produce like milk, wool and eggs from them, not meat.